24 May - 15 June, Fri-Sun 12-5pm
Preview 23 June 6-9pm
Residency: UCA Canterbury, New Dover Road, Canterbury CT1 3AN
Open to the public 30 May 2014 5-8pm, 31 May -13 June 2014 10am-6pm, closed Sunday
Dylan Shipton works with large-scale three-dimensional structures, responding to the modernist idea of abstract painting as a hermetic practice, and questioning the gap between the artwork and the space in which it resides.
Punishment Park took its title from Peter Watkins’ 1971 faux-documentary, in which student protesters are imprisoned by the government (which declares a ‘state of emergency’) and encouraged to take part in a death-race for their freedom, pursued, as part of a military training exercise, by the National Guard. By alluding to this film, Shipton seems to suggest that his ‘deconstruction’ of the physical elements of painting – paint, stretcher, and support – has less to do with expanding the medium formally than exploring the possibilities of abstraction as political metaphor.
Through subtle yet deliberate use of colour and simple materials, Shipton’s works suggest a redeployment of institutional demarcation - prison uniforms, police tape, dazzle camouflage - within the vernacular architectural context of the commune or squat.
Over May and June Shipton worked simultaneously on the exhibition at LIMBO and a test site at UCA Canterbury as part of a month-long residency, where he collaborated with staff and students from across the art college’s courses. His changing installation at UCA was accessible to the public from 30 May, with a gallery talk with Terry Perk, Gabor Stark and Ian Bottle at 2.30pm on 6 June and a collaboration in the space with Jost Munster all day 9 June.
For the commission Shipton worked in response to LIMBO’s project space, a former electricity substation. He used rudimentary joinery to construct a large-scale 'sculptural drawing' - a fluorescent timber structure that ricocheted and reverberated around the gallery. This super-charged drawing occupied its very own state of limbo, somewhere between renewal and decay. It served as a physical manifestation of the energy that was once created in the building, and pointed to the architectural idiosyncrasies of the space.
In Shipton’s work there is an interplay between planned construction and improvisation, where the environment and chance events produced by the making process determine the works’ eventual forms. Punishment Park aimed to produce a rupture between the space, the artwork and the viewer where each cannot exist without reference to the other.
Dylan Shipton was born in Wales in 1976. He studied Fine Art at Bristol UWE and did his Masters at Chelsea School of Art 2001. Shipton has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally, with both individual and collaborative projects. Exhibitions last year included Monument to the Excluded Middle in collaboration with artist Ben Fitton, for House 2013 in Brighton and Palomar at Bloc Projects in Sheffield. He currently lives and works in London.